In and Around Iquitos
Iquitos Peru Things



Port of Bellavista (Nanay River)

Bellavista is located at the extreme north of the city on the Nanay River.  Just take a mototaxi north on Avenida Marina until you reach the port.  In addition to the port, you will encounter a market that specializes in fresh fish.  Here you can sample some freshly grilled fish or if you are an adventurous eater, try the suri (palm beetle larvae).  Locals use  suri as a traditional medicine for bronchitis.  At the port you can rent a boat and driver to visit the Butterfly Farm, and Bora and Yagua tribes, but better to travel like the locals on the water taxi shuttle boat to the village of San Andrés.  The boat drivers who rent their boats and services are notorious for swindling tourists for as much as $100, while the water taxi costs about one sole. 

San Andrés

From San Andrés you can hike to the Butterfly Farm where the owner, Gudren Sperrer, will give you a tour of her wonderful butterfly insectary and animal orphanage complete with a jaguar, tapir, and a rare red uakari monkey.  You can also hike to the Bora and Yagua communities that are extremely friendly and the natives are glad to teach visitors about their indigenous Amazonian cultures.



The Quistococha Zoo is a National Park that is located about 15 km from the city center. Quistococha is big, with about 900 acres, that include a zoo, lagoon, arboretum, museum, aquarium, and several restaurants. You can take the combi (minivan) from the corner of Moore and Bermudez Streets or  you can hire a taxi for about 15 soles.

Iquitos-Nauta Road

The 102 km road to Nauta near Pacaira-Samiria National Reserve has finally been completely paved and offers a quick way (about two hours) of reaching this jumping off point for journeys to the reserve and beyond.  However, most tourist with tour guides still take the overnight boat, thus ensuring the guide a longer trip and more profits. Resorts along the highway offering swimming, drinking and parrilladas (outdoor BBQs) are filled with locals on Sundays, but empty during the week.  Buses to Nauta can normally be found at the corner of Prospero and Jose Galvez Streets.

Santo Tomas Village

Santo Tomas is located on the canal between the Nanay River and Lake Mapacocha.  This is a wonderful place to enjoy water sports such as water skiing or canoeing.  For motorcycle enthusiasts, there is a motocross track. Nearby Santo Tomas are the Cocama and Cocamilla indigenous communities who practice subsistence fishing and farming.  They are also known for producing traditional ceramic handicrafts. 

Lake Zungarococha

Lake Zungarococha is located 12 km (7 miles) from the Iquitos Airport
The lake is situated on the bank of the Nanay River and is great place to swim or canoe.   Near the lake is a small lagoon called Corrientillo where a restaurant featuring traditional food is located.  Nearby there is a Botanical Garden maintained by the UNAP (Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana).  Buses to Lake Zungarococha can be found on the corner of Prospero and Jose Galvez Streets.

Santa Clara

Santa Clara is located on the bank of the Nanay River near the Iquitos Airport. To get there, turn right 500 meters (1640 feet) before the airport and continue several kilometers to the Nanay.  The dry season (July – December), when the level of the Nanay River decreases, is the time to go.  The white sandy beaches attract many sunbathers, swimmers, and even campers. Santa Clara is said to be one of the most beautiful places in the immediate Iquitos area.  To get there, take a minibus (combi) from the corner of Prospero and Jose Galvez Streets.


Moronacocha Lake is a branch of the Nanay River and is located about two kilometers west of the city center.  During the dry season, the lake bed dries up and becomes a soccer field used by local residents. You can see a spectacular sunset here, visit the local market and even enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants.


The Plaza de Armas

The Iquitos Main Square or Plaza de Armas is the historical central area of town.  On Sunday mornings there is a flag raising ceremony and military parade.  On Sunday evenings, the plaza is filled with visitors, street entertainers, and vendors.  There is an obelisque that is a monument to those from Iquitos who defended Peru in the War of the Pacific in 1879.

The Matriz Cathedral

Located on the Plaza de Armas, this
Neogothic cathedral was built over a period of thirteen years from 1911 to 1924. The cathedral has one nave and has a carved wood pulpit on its right side. A Swiss clock that was added in 1925 still keeps accurate time.

The Iron House

The Iron House (Casa de Fierro) is said to have been designed and built by Gustav Eiffel who is famed for the Eiffel Tower.  It was originally built in France and then disassembled and shipped up the Amazon River to Iquitos after the Paris Exhibition of 1898.  Rubber Barons Baca Diaz and Anselmo Del Aguila had it reassembled at its present location on the corner of Putumayo and Prospero.

The Boulevard

The Boulevard and Tarapaca Malecon are located just a block east of the Plaza de Armas on the bank of the Itaya River just before it flows into the main Amazon River. The Boulevard was built at the height of the rubber baron era and was dedicated to the memory of those who died in the War of the Pacific during which Peru lost the Tarapaca region to Chile.  During the day, you get a wonderful view of the river and the floating town of Belen. At night, the Boulevard comes alive with tourists and locals strolling along it enjoying the pleasant night air, bars, restaurants and entertainment. Along the malecon are many historical building and monuments. 

Municipal  Hall of the Province of Maynas

The political jurisdiction for the District of Iquitos is the Municipality of Maynas.  This is where the mayor's office is located and is situated opposite of the Plaza Sargento Lores.  Interestingly, the old Municipality of Maynas building still exists and is located across from the Plaza de Armas and is currently being used to house the Municipal Museum of Natural Science.

The Market of Belén

Belen is geographically divided into two areas, the upper market area and the lower residential area.  The market is one of the main markets for all products harvested from the jungle and local farming areas.  The Pasaje Paquito is located inside the market where you can obtain local traditional medicines and potions. The houses of the lower residential area are very photogenic with some built on rafts of floating balsa logs and others built on log stilts above the high water level.


Amazonian Library

Located at Malecon Tarapaca 354. Visiting hours are Monday 3:30 pm to 6:45 pm and Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12:15 pm and 3:30 pm to 6:45 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to noon.  The Amazonian Library specializes in regional books, historic photographs, local newspapers and magazines, movies, maps, and paintings.  The museum also has objects of historical value on display and several historical editions of the Holy Bible. The Amazonian Library was originally constructed in 1873 and expanded to its present size in 1903.

Municipal Museum of Natural Science

Located across from the Main Square at 224 Napo Street.  This wonderful little museum contains many historic photographs of Iquitos.  In addition, there are displays of animals, plants and indigenous people of the Amazon. 

Amazon Museum

Located on the Tarapacá Malecon at No. 386 and open from Monday to Fridays 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The historic building was built in 1863. The museum curates a fine collection of more than eighty  fiberglass sculptures of the main indigenous Amazonian tribes from Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela. There are also historic photographs of the city of Iquitos.  The Amazon Museum shares the building with the Military Museum and also contains a collection of photographs of past city officials. 

Camu Camu Gallery

The Camu Camu Gallery is located at 438 Trujillo Street in Punchana, just north of Iquitos. This small museum specializes in paintings by Francisco Grippa, a famous Peruvian artist that lives in Pebas. Grippa uses unique materials for his canvas, an example being the use of a tree bark called llanchama. Native Amazonians formerly used llanchama to make clothing items.


Amazonian Natives

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© Copyright 2004-2006 Dan James Pantone, Iquitos Peru Things, all rights reserved.